SCENE: It is a Sunday morning at the Drapers’ spacious Manhattan apartment. MEGAN DRAPER lounges on the couch in a silk nightie, flipping through the pages of Look Magazine and smoking a Virginia Slim. DON DRAPER enters the apartment and drops his keys on a nearby table. He wears a ruffled charcoal grey suit and a loosened burgundy tie.
DON: Good morning.
MEGAN: Where were you all night? You look like hell.
DON: (Staring into the hallway mirror and smiling slightly.) I do, don’t I?
MEGAN: Are you drunk?
DON: As a matter of fact, I’ve never been more sober.
(DON drags a trash bin from the kitchen and places it next to the living room liquor cabinet. He stoically pulls one bottle after another from the cabinet and tosses each one into the trash. MEGAN rushes to him and grabs him by the arm.)
MEGAN: Don! What are you doing?
DON: (Not looking at her) Something I should have done a long time ago.
MEGAN: This is crazy. What’s gotten into you?
(DON ignores her, continuing to pile bottle after bottle into the bin. There are a lot of bottles, so it takes a while. When he finishes, DON turns to his wife and puts his hands on her shoulders. He looks at her dreamily, as if he is seeing her for the first time. He takes the skinny cigarette from her mouth and tosses into the trash with all the bottles.)
DON: Honey, this guy walked into my office yesterday. We spent the whole night talking.
MEGAN: What kind of guy?
DON: I’ve never met him before. He said he was with the Gideons and he gave me this (He pulls out a pocket-sized New Testament and places it on top of the liquor cabinet). Megan, have you ever heard of being born again?
MEGAN: What are you talking about?
DON: (Getting down on one knee and looking up at his wife with a pleading expression. There are tears in his eyes.) Look, I’ve done a lot of bad things in my life. Drinking, carousing, deceiving. There’ve been women. A lot more than you know about it. So many, even I’ve lost count. In a way, you could say my whole life has been a lie. When I came back from the war in Korea… Well, maybe that’s a story for another time.
MEGAN: Don, I–
DON: –But I think I’ve got a chance to set things straight. Tomorrow morning, I’m walking into Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and I’m handing them my resignation. I’m giving up my partnership. The agency’s no good for me. Not for what I’ve got planned. Besides, advertising has bored me for years. I think it’s the Heinz account that finally put me over the edge.
MEGAN: But you’ve spent your whole career building up that company. What on earth are you going to do?
DON: (Smiling slyly.) Well, there’s this little thing call the Peace Corps.
MEGAN: Oh, Don, no!
DON: Listen. All my life, I’ve taken from people. I’ve been a crappy husband, a crappy father. I’ve made up ads that testify that true happiness can only be found through the purchase of the right brand of deodorant. I’ve worshiped false idols, and I’ve created false idols. But now I think I can give something back. I think I can get my hands dirty in a different way. Megan, do you know where Sierra Leone is?
(MEGAN says nothing, but starts tearing up).
DON: Hey. Hey! I know it sounds crazy. But listen to me! Listen to me! Listen to me! (He is shaking her by the shoulders.) Everything we know, everything in this apartment… It’s all phony. It’s nothing. Out there is the real world. The Third World. Look, it’s only for a couple of years. After that, you can go back to your acting. You hate working on that soap opera, anyway.
(He kisses her tenderly on the forehead, puts a hand under her chin and nudges it up so that MEGAN is eye-to-eye with him.)
DON: What do you say? Just you and me? We can start over.
MEGAN: (Looking at him hopefully). Yes. YES!
DON: You’ll never regret this. I swear. We go in for our immunization shots tomorrow.
MEGAN: Uhm, okay.
(The two hold hands and look out the massive window as the sun peaks above the New York City skyline. It is a new day for DON and MEGAN DRAPER).